Cyber attacks: North Yorkshire couple speak out after becoming victims of online fraud

  • Video report by Chris Kiddey

A couple from North Yorkshire have spoken out after becoming victims of online scammers.

Councillor Stuart Martin, who is a former Mayor of Ripon, and his wife April are just two of a growing number of people who have been targeted by online fraudsters during the pandemic.

Stuart was contacted by his bank a few weeks ago to say that there had been suspicious activity on his account. His security had been breached and £3,100 taken, which the couple eventually got back.

Criminals also tried to get money from a charity account to which April was a signatory 19 times.

They are now warning others to be on their guard and say if you can remember your account password it is probably not strong enough.

Police are advising people of the dangers of online fraudsters after the crimes increased nationally by a third during the pandemic. Credit: PA Images

Officers say the rise is due to more people turning to the internet to access support during lockdowns.

They are urging individuals not to be complacent now that restrictions have lifted.

  • Financial abuse safeguarding officer, Andy Fox, North Yorkshire Police

What can I do to avoid becoming a victim of fraud?

Action Fraud advises the following:

  • Use a strong and separate password

  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)

  • Be cautious of social media messages that ask for your login details or authentication codes, even if the message appears to be from someone you know

  • If you can't access your account, search the company's online support or help pages for guidance on how to recover your account

  • Report suspicious emails you have received but not acted upon, by forwarding the original message to

  • If you cannot access your account as it has been compromised, follow National Cyber Security Centre’s guidance

  • If a demand for payment is made to regain access for your account, do not pay any money, as it is likely the suspect will continue to demand more money instead of giving control of your account back

For more help you can visit the following websites: